As House moves on impeaching Trump, some push censure instead. Here’s what that means
As members of the House of RepresentativesFor the second time, following the violent attack on the US Capitol last week, some lawmakers are calling for a less divisive punishment: censure. (Here is .)
On Tuesday House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said he was open to criticism from the president. This is evident from news reports quoting an unnamed aide who is familiar with McCarthy’s thinking. He has indicated that he is against impeachment.
Some Democrats have also supported this idea, arguing that it would be less divisive than a second impeachment. Still, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi of California said that criticism just isn’t heavy enough for President Trump’s role in oiland attack that resulted in the death of 5 people.
A group of six House Republicans, led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, tabled a resolution Tuesday evening to blame Trump for his role in grappling with the 2020 presidential election results and fueling the violent unrest that was targeted to discard the election results.
These Republicans argued that criticism would be a more effective way to punish Trump, as many believe the Republican-controlled Senate will not condemn him, even though the Democrats’ impeachment efforts are expected to be successful. On Tuesday evening, the House also attempted another route to removal and passed a separate resolution to officially address Vice President Mike Pence. Hours before the vote, pence .
“President Trump has seriously endangered the security of the United States and its government institutions,” the resolution said, citing Trump.
We put this FAQ together to find out what this means.
What is censure?
Criticism is a formal declaration of disapproval. It is considered non-binding, which means there are no legal consequences. Criticism does not remove an officer from office, nor does it deny them the rights and privileges of their position.
But it’s a formal way of disciplining an official like a US president. It can also be used to discipline senators and members of the house. In essence, it is a public disgrace to civil servants by lawmakers and colleagues.
The criticism procedure is described in Article I, Section 5 of the US Constitution.
How is criticism different from impeachment?
Criticism is a much easier punishment than. There is no real action taken against a person who has been censored. It’s just a formal statement of disapproval.
The process of censure is also different from prosecution. A resolution to criticize can be tabled either in the House of Representatives or in the Senate, or in both cases. And a positive vote only requires a simple majority. This is different from impeachment, which must be voted on in the House of Representatives, and requires a two-thirds vote that is upheld in the U.S. Senate to convict.
Unlike impeachment, the House of Representatives and Senate can also reprimand their own members. (The equivalent to impeachment for members of Congress is an expulsion vote, which requires a two-thirds majority.)
Has a US President ever been censored?
Yes. According to a 2019 report by the Congressional Research Service, censorship movements were instigated against 14 presidents, four of which were successful.
The best known criticism is that of President Andrew Jackson, who was censored in 1834 for refusing to produce documents related to the removal of deposits from the Second Bank of the United States. William Howard Taft was the last US president to be censored in 1912 for attempting to influence a controversial Senate election.
Since then, motions have been tabled against several presidents, including Richard Nixon, against whom several no-confidence decisions have been taken, and Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Each of these efforts failed. Trump received two reprimands against him during his tenure. If this criticism came true, he would be the first US president to be censored in more than 100 years.
Given that Congress is pushing Trump’s impeachment, how likely is it that he will also be censored?
Democrats, and now at least five Republican members of the House of Representatives, have said they would vote for impeachment. The measure is expected to be adopted by the end of today. It is still unclear whether the Senate would convict him. It would have to be two-thirds of the Senate or 67 votes to convict.
Because of this, there has been a push for criticism, as this is more likely to be accepted by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. But the reality is that now that the impeachment process has begun, criticism for the president is likely off the table.
What about members of Congress? Is criticism considered for any of them?
Yes, criticism can be considered for members of Congress who supported Trump’s false claim that he won the election. Members of Congress who also attended the White House rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol could be censored, and some critics have suggested that Congress might also consider expulsion for their role in inciting the crowd .